NMPF Applauds Sen. Baldwin for Pressure on FDA Dairy Labeling Enforcement

NMPF was pleased to support Senator Tammy Baldwin’s (D-WI) efforts to bring attention to the need for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) enforcement of dairy standards of identity at the confirmation hearing of Dr. Robert Califf to become the next commissioner of FDA.

NMPF has long partnered with Sen. Baldwin on the issue, with the Senate committee hearing on Dec. 14 serving as the latest opportunity to bring critical attention to the agency’s lack of enforcement.

After speaking to the importance of dairy standards of identity, Sen. Baldwin asked Dr. Califf whether and when the FDA will begin enforcing its own labeling standards. Dr. Califf responded that he would make the issue a priority should he be confirmed as FDA commissioner, stating there is “almost nothing more fundamental about safety than people understanding exactly what they’re ingesting, so I am committed to making this a priority if I am confirmed.”

NMPF president and CEO Jim Mulhern thanked Sen. Baldwin for pressing Dr. Califf for “urgent action” on the issue, explaining that the issue “needs to be a top-of-mind issue for Dr. Califf” as the “ground has shifted since his previous tenure in the Obama administration, both as dairy imitators proliferate and the abuse of lax labeling enforcement creates nutritional confusion for consumers.”

NMPF has been advocating for the enforcement of standards of identity and integrity in the marketplace for four decades. The recent, long overdue FDA attention to the issue – including a pledge to provide guidance on enforcement in the coming months – provides an opportunity to lead to key progress toward enforcement. NMPF will continue to work with Sen. Baldwin, other members of Congress, and administration officials on the issue, now with Dr. Califf’s positive comments in hand.